Christmas is a festival that is celebrated all around the globe irrespective of the families’ caste, creed, country, or colour. The sacred holiday brings about with the anticipation of a New Year while leaving behind a bunch of memoris to cherish. And if the people everywhere are spreading the Christmas cheer, why should the British Royal Family be behind?

When it comes to celebration and banquets, it comes as no surprise that the Queen and her lineage like to have a gala time. Darren McGrady, former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales and Princes William and Harry, shared his experience as head of the kitchen during the holiday.

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Each year, Her Royal Highness travels up to Sandringham House in Norfolk on the 19th or 20th of December, with the rest of the family arriving on Christmas Eve around lunchtime. And here’s how the Royal Family spends their together-time during Christmas.

When the Prince of Wales arrives, his valet will take him up to his room while his cargo is unloaded. All of his Christmas gifts get placed on trestle tables for each member of the royal family. The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations. After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition. Christmas morning, the family eats a hardy breakfast before heading off to church. After church, that’s when they have a big lunch that includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert. They stick with the same meal year after year. Once they’ve eaten, everyone sits down and watches the Queen’s Christmas speech. Afterward, they all go their own way before coming together again for afternoon tea and traditional Christmas fruitcake, then they gather again in the evening, where a buffet dinner with 15-20 different items awaits them. It’s always a buffet with the chefs at the table carving. They don’t do appetizers on Christmas like many do here in the U.S. Instead, appetizers and canapés are reserved for New Year’s Eve.

1482340043-landscape-1482186924-gettyimages-158710383And that’s not all. another annual tradition involves the Queen gratifies the senior chef for serving her all year round by presenting him a glass of whiskey, which the chef enjoys along with the Royal Family.

“Right before the Christmas buffet, the senior chef on duty goes into the dining room and carves the rib roast or turkey or ham and once he’s done, Her Majesty presents the chef with a glass of whiskey and they toast. That’s the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whiskey with the royal family. It’s one of the chef’s favorite traditions.”

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As for the décor, the Queen likes it simple. So you may see a lot of shiny bright lights outside Buckingham Palace, but Sandringham being a private estate is modestly decked. “The Queen is not lavish, so the décor is minimal. The Royal Family has a large Christmas tree and a large silver artificial tree in the dining room, which is about 30 years old.”

And of course there is dessert. The Queen’s love for chocolate is known far and wine, so her holiday indulgence doesn’t come as a surprise. “The queen is a major chocoholic, particularly dark chocolate, so she always has a chocolate treat on Christmas. She also loves mint.”

Images & Source: Delish